We should have a proper sense of wonder, awe and respect for God’s creation.
The prophet Isaiah said it well in Chapter 40
Rebellion against God inevitably and crucially involves rebellion against his Creation which underpins so much of ethics and morality. It is foundational.
“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
God’s Creation Order.
Man created in the Image of God “let us make man in our image”
All human life has intrinsic value in all states of dependence and disability from fertilisation to life’s natural end.
It is attacked through abortion; euthanasia; physician-assisted suicide; destructive embryo research; embryo de-selection and eugenics including sex selection and Down Syndrome genocide; babies accidentally born alive after abortion procedure and left to die; after-birth abortion; cloning, chimeras and cyborgs.
Ultimately to control all reproductive and life processes, to create life and design it according to our own wishes, “cleansing” the human race for the future and in the meantime eliminating all that is deemed less than perfect.
Personal autonomy to the exclusion of any God influence.
Eden and the Tower of Babel revisited.
To be free of the Creator God, to render Him unnecessary and be our own gods. We will be in control of our own lives and will choose how and when to die and choose the same for others.
Not putting the same value on human life, eliminating whole communities by conquest and genocidal killing with Christians as prime targets.
Further pushed: From within by the atheistic lobby and “God-haters”; atheistic or naïve genetic experimenters; leftist social engineers.
The creation of Masculinity and Femininity (“bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh”)
So much more than having physical intercourse but nevertheless includes the Creation Mandate to “Be fruitful and multiply”.
It is attacked through: Gender fluidity and transgenders; be whatever sex you like – you are in charge of your destiny – you are your own god. The rebellion against God’s design of “natural” intercourse.
Pushed by: The gay lobby, leftist social engineers and the PC brigade
Remember: permission becomes a compulsion.
Apart from the destruction of social order also at threat is liberty of speech, of belief and to teach our children.
Further specific attacks through public education e.g. Safe Schools Coalition Australia, “Respectful Relationships” and now re-badged yet again as “Inclusive Education” encouraging to declare sexual preferences early leading to identity confusion and also experimentation in sexuality.
Loss of liberty to speak about the dangers of these lifestyles and discrimination in employment and business.
Marriage as a specific subset of sexuality and a Creation Mandate; “one flesh”; “for this reason shall a man cleave to his wife”
It is attacked through:The destruction of marriage as an institution, pushing “marriage” and “family” as we choose and then discarding it as a useless concept with complete sexual freedom.
The decline of the West is achieved by intrinsic moral decay and by declining birth rate to demographic winter
Pushed by: the gay lobby, leftist social engineers and PC brigade
Remember: permission becomes a compulsion.
Apart from the destruction of social order also at threat is liberty of speech, of belief and to teach our children, even around the kitchen table. Loss of liberty to speak about the dangers to society and discrimination in employment and business ultimately also threatening parenthood and, in particular, Christian parenthood. The attacks are unprecedented.
Stewards of Creation
The animal kingdom and the earth – bring order, subdue, care for, work. Inclusive of a Sabbath rest – and God saw that it was good, and rested.
It is attacked through: Failure and neglect leading to ecological disaster; misdirected economics with chemical or radio-nuclear contamination and de-forestation; deliberate destruction through the war with the possibility of nuclear disaster.
We ignore the principle of a Sabbath rest to our peril.
Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Psalm 2:10 NIV.
What did Jesus say? A direct application for today.
Firstly, Jesus affirmed the creation story. Matt 19:4-6 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So, they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
The warfare against heteronormativity – male and female – is an unprecedented rebellion against God and His Creation.
We must preach and teach the fundamentals of creation and their application – male and female (no spectrum), its complementarity as the ordinance of marriage and the Imago Dei – to be created in the image of God.
Secondly, Jesus explained and affirmed the command (Luke 10:27) to love our neighbour. Loving our neighbour and our neighbour’s children means not only caring for them in present calamity but also warning against approaching calamity (e.g. a flash flood) or helping to protect their future from encroaching evil – in this instance state mandated sexual indoctrination.
Thirdly, Jesus said “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt 18:6).
Jesus’ condemnation re leading children into sin is quite specific as is its judgment. Other evils that concern us do not merit the same specific judgment. May this truth be reflected in our thinking and our living.
If we, as informed Christians, support politicians and educators whose firm commitment is sexual confusion by indoctrination of our children, then we too are guilty of allowing our little ones to be led into sin.
and makes a world
safe for your children.
Proverbs 14:26 The Message
Sometimes you just gently teach
Sometimes you preach with invitation
Sometimes you confront and challenge
Sometimes you have to condemn
Sometimes you have to drive the money-changers out of the temple
Sometimes you have to walk with Christ to Calvary.
When governments deliberately introduce legislation that permits evil – and even to compel it – shame is appropriate and needful.
Thetrouble is that the parliamentary members who introduce such legislation – particularly when the issue at stake is the intrinsic value of human life – usually also have no concept of what it means to Fear God.
Even when the issues are crystal clear. Such issues can be the shredding of an unborn baby limb by limb, right through to term, for any reason, when it is capable of feeling pain. Or the compelling of doctors to be part of the process.
The absence of fear, the absence of shame, is reflected in the following historical record:
“It was the ninth month and the king was sitting in the winter apartment, with a fire burning in the firepot in front of him. Whenever Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king cut them off with a scribe’s knife and threw them into the firepot, until the entire scroll was burned in the fire. The king and all his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear, nor did they tear their clothes.”
In just a few verses we get a glimpse of complacency, arrogance, ignorance and contempt for the message of God that so characterises some people of any generation. There is no humility, no respect, no remorse, no fear, and no shame.
And in our time
“Repugnance, here as elsewhere, revolts against the excesses of human willfulness, warning us not to transgress what is unspeakably profound.
Indeed, in this age in which everything is held to be permissible so long as it is freely done, in which our given human nature no longer commands respect, in which our bodies are regarded as mere instruments of our autonomous rational wills, repugnance may be the only voice left that speaks up to defend the central core of our humanity.
Shallow are the souls that have forgotten how to shudder.”
But shame is also appropriate and necessary for the person who understands when evil is promoted and yet remains silent.
“When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin. You must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy with all the fire of your faith.”
“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.”
And shame is also appropriate and necessary for the person who, when presented with a clear choice at the ballot box, votes for the promotion of evil.1)Date-stamped: 2018 Jan 03 | by Lachlan Dunjey | Article Title: Mourning into Dancing, A Year of Shame – a Failure to Protect | Article Link: chooselifeaustralia.org.au
Shame on all who sin against the weak and powerless.
Shame on all committing sin against children.
Shame on those who in order to maintain “respectability” cover up the sins of others.
Shame on all those who failed to protect.
Shame on all those who failed to warn.
Shame on all those who failed to warn of the consequences of proposed legislation – not only failing to protect but failing to prevent the facilitation of evil to children.
Shame on all those who did not love their neighbour sufficiently to warn that their children were at risk.
Shame on pastors who failed to warn of the danger and thereby failed to protect.
Shame on all those who voted for the party that was determined to bring in same-sex “marriage” and “safe schools programs”.
Shame on all those who voted “yes”.
Shame on all MPs who encouraged and voted for SSM regardless of the consequences.
We need to declare who we are without fear. In our relationships in society may we be unafraid in upholding our liberty to believe, the honour and value of marriage and family as God gave it and the innate value of all human life as created in the Image of God – all of which are expressed so well in the Canberra Declaration.
Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.
There was a time when the fear of God meant something,
“when committed Christians were known as God-fearing people. This was a badge of honour.”
What does it mean?
“a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread, above all things, to offend Him.”
It is much more than simply being scared and has been described as a mixture of reverence, awe, worship. It should also entail a desire to please Him, to receive His pleasure and to be fearful of no longer receiving His pleasure.
It means a wanting to obey Him and His rules, statutes, laws, principles, precepts, decrees and ways as per Psalm 119.
If only all peoples were to have a healthy Fear-of-God. Then we would have a world safe for our children.
Easterreminds us of the determination of the authorities and the fickleness of the people that resulted in the crucifixion. We see the hate that blinded the eyes and deafened the ears to the miraculous evidence that Jesus was of God, in fact, the Son of God and the promised and longed-for Messiah.
Fear of God did not come into their considerations.
Here in Australia, we are facing what could be the most critical election of our lifetime. Some stated policies are the most anti-God and anti-Christian that we have ever seen – a defiant rejection of doing things God’s way, a seemingly total absence of any “fear-of-God” coupled with a determination to do things “my way” regardless of the consequences to our children and our children’s children.
What do we want to ensure a safe place for our children?
From the Canberra Declaration, we have freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, freedom of belief – even freedom to change belief – and to live in accord with such belief without fear of accusation of intolerance or hate-speech.
Intrinsic to freedom of expression is the freedom to debate. Such Freedom Is Essential For Democracy.
Also enshrined in the Canberra Declaration is the need for a stable family with marriage between a man and a woman guaranteeing children their biological birthright to a mother and a father with its proven track record in protection, education, welfare, support and nurture.
The third important set of values being the intrinsic value of human life in all states of disability and dependency providing sure protection for future generations.
Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate His rule with trembling. Psalm 2:10 NIV.
and makes a world
safe for your children.
Proverbs 14:26 The Message
original source: https://blog.canberradeclaration.org.au/2019/04/18/the-fear-of-god-builds-up-confidence/
I was deeply moved recently by reading a book about early Christian devotion to Jesus. In his letter to the emperor Trajan the Roman official Pliny (c.112 A.D.) records torturing and executing Christians who confessed that they “meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god”. Such devotion under pressure is common in scripture.
reformation in Christian music
David authors psalms whilst being pursued by enemies (ps 7, ps 27, ps 31, ps 34, ps 35, ps 52), Jesus and his disciples sung a praise hymn on the way to Gethsemane (Mark 14:26), beaten and placed in a dungeon “about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God” (Acts 16:25).
The climactic musical book in scripture runs with the blood of the saints; Revelation is punctuated with hymnic material (Rev 1:5-6, Rev 4:11, Rev 5:9-10, Rev 7:11-12, Rev 11:17-18, Rev 15:3-4, Rev 19:6-8).
Such worship is deeply inspirational in a way grossly lacking in our churches.
I will never forget coming out of a Pentecostal Church as a new Christian and commenting, “We say ‘Hallelujah, Praise the Lord’ but our lives are not changed.”
I had recognised a disturbing disconnect between my public spiritual performance and holiness of life. Something weird often happens when people sing. During an internship placement whilst at theological college I was amazed to hear the congregation happily sing from a hymn I knew they would never consent to doctrinally. All this points to a need for a reformation in Christian music.
THE PROTEST OF PRAISE
The note I find to be almost completely absent from popular contemporary Christian music is one of protest. My thinking about praise as a protest was first triggered by reading an account of student revival in Ethiopia in the 70’s when that nation was under an anti-Christian Marxist dictatorship.
The believers started to write their own songs, some of which were designed to help them overcome the evils of materialism and secularism.
Such an ethical intent is usually absent from our normal congregational experience. Why aren’t our contemporary song writers exhorting us to beware the temptations of consumerism and immorality?
The answer is found in the exhortations of Paul about corporate praise; Eph.vs.15 “walk, not as unwise but as wise….be filled with the Spirit,vs.19addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart…. Col 3.vs.16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Eph 5:15, 18-19: Col 3:16-17).
The vertical dimension of thankfulness to the Lord is practiced in our churches, but the horizontal dimension of exhorting one another to godliness through song is absent because we lack godly wisdom.
Imbibing a culture which teaches happiness is to be desired and unhappiness avoided our song writers and “worship leaders” cannot impart a godly wisdom grounded in holy fear (Prov 9:10).
They lack the faith to teach us how we are to overcome the world (1 John 5:4).
Despite popular convictions of a renewal in Church worship the steep decline in holiness of life in Western Christianity testifies otherwise. In our spiritual infancy we must return to the teachings of scripture (1 Cor 3:1-3).
These are significant for us because they prophetically anticipate the sufferings, and subsequent glory, of Jesus (1 Pet 1:10-11). The psalms of lament must ultimately be understood as the words of him who “offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence” (Heb 5:7).
However, Jesus’ songs of sorrow are a pathway to his song of praise. This is very clear from his use of Psalm 22. Christ’s ultimate lament, ““My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”” (Mark 15:34) is a quote from Psalm 22:1.
His joy in presently praising God in the Church, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you” (Heb 2:12) is a quote from Psalm 22:22. The brothers of Jesus are intimately bound to his way of suffering and glory (Luke 24:26).
The only way to experience the riches of Christ’s glory is to walk the way of his suffering (Phil 3:10).
This great gospel truth must be expressed in songs of lament-praise in the Church. Christians under pressure have always understood this.
SHARE IN THE PROTEST OF THE CROSS
By exhorting, “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name”, Hebrews 13:15 advocates a difficult and glorious way of life that denies the final authority of evil to impede the purposes of God.
Believing this is why I always begin my day with a song, however I’m personally feeling (cf. Eph 5:20; 1 Thess 5:18).
This lifts me up to share the perspective of heaven.
Revelation’s “new song/song of Moses and the Lamb” is sung by those who have “conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name” (Rev 14:3; 15:2-3).
The original beast was the Pharaoh of the exodus deliverance (Ex 15:1) and many beasts still roam the earth.
Secularism, post-modernism, capitalist materialism, hedonism, sexual libertinism seek to devour God’s people.
So the Church today urgently needs a release of prophetic song that is a refutation and denunciation of the powers of evil in their cruel rule over human souls.
We need to have inspired words resonating with biblical truth to sing as an edification and protest against the spiritual harlotry that has so deeply infiltrated Western Christianity (cf. James 4:4; Rev 2:22; Rev 17:1-6). I desperately need this, and so do you!
Missionaries have long diagnosed Australians culturally conditioned apathy to ultimate issues as our most resistant stronghold to the gospel.
To be free from deep and painful concerns about eternity is deemed a positive attribute in our society.
Listen to the music and you will see that this spirit is running riot in our churches.
Something encouraging however is stirring in the spirits of God’s. I recently received an email that read, “I struggle with how willing people are to be lukewarm.” Let me finish where I begun.
Pliny tortured and killed Christians not as criminals but as members of a “depraved, excessive superstition” uncompromising of the tolerant religious pluralism of his day.
The “Only Jesus is Lord.” people were politically incorrect in the worse possible way.
They were protesters against a worldview and form of civilisation whose agitations threatened to undermine everything of value to the Empire.
Time would prove Pliny’s verdict on uncompromising early Christianity to be correct.
I long for a time when the boundaries between world and Church will be so starkly visible once again (Mal 3:18).
But to facilitate my protest, and yours, we must ask the Lord to raise up gifted musicians who will give us songs of suffering-and-deliverance filled with genuine spiritual power, baptising the Church in the lament of the cross and the ecstasy of the resurrection. This will herald the dawn of a great revival.
This teaching was provoked by recently reading “To Change the World” by sociologist James Davison Hunter.
His persuasive thesis is that in engaging the powers of the political realm American Christians have been ensnared in the world’s ways of doing things. In the wake of the failure of a fairly unified Christian front to stop same-sex marriage (SSM) I believe Australian Christians are increasingly committing the same sort of errors as our American brethren.
Lacking the power of the Lordship of Christ many frustrated believers feel like they must do something to be useful to God in the midst of a dramatic decline of national righteousness.
The power of the political sphere is the obvious avenue to bring change, even if Jesus’ Lordship operates in an exactly opposite way to the coercive power of legislation.
I foresee the Australian Church losing one political battle after another, all the while being distracted away from her chief concern, the abiding life of Christ.
To start with patterns from the U.S., that 80% of white Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump signals the enmeshment between this part of the American Church and the Republican Party.
Less well known is the alignment between Evangelical progressives, mainstream liberal Christianity and the Democrats.
Whilst traditional Evangelicals look for a return to traditional Christian values progressives seek for Christ’s justice to come to the powerless through political means.
A third much smaller bloc, the neo-Anabaptists, considers participation in official political action a form of compromise and idolatry.
The issue of politics and the Church encompasses many issues e.g. the Israel-Palestine debate, Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers, global warming, euthanasia etc.
What disturbs me about “political Christians” is that their zeal for a cause often comes across as more intense than their passion for the Person of Jesus.
Why is this?
POLITICISATION OF EVERYTHING
We live in a day when everything is being politicised, and in the popular imagination politics stands for power.
A recent example of this is when government registry offices were opened to gay people last week the agencies were all flying the rainbow flag of the LGBT movement.
So powerful has been the political success of this lobby that its core values have now become part of the identity of Australia as a nation. As with the earlier feminist-libertarian victory over abortion, we are now subject to “institutionalised lawlessness” (Matt 24:12).
But surely this is a reason for believers to become involved in political action?
Possibly, but not as it is commonly practiced for the political understanding of most Christians is deeply confused.
To think that politics shapes culture, rather than the reverse, is back to front.
The DE-Christianising of the West happened because densely networked anti-Christians took possession of the culture-making institutions of society, particularly higher education and the arts.
Despite every good intention the average believer has no access to the more elite “clubs” from which social change is initiated.
Unlike, for example, the wealthy, educated, aristocratic group that William Wilberforce drew together, few believers have influence in institutions that re-invent how people see reality.
If there is no remedy for moral decline through the political process should we take more radical action?
Perhaps exercise the “Benedict Option” (Rod Dreher) and withdraw like the monks of the Dark Ages into creative communities whose enlightened moral and spiritual values will eventually lead our nations out of the abyss of secularism?
There is another way forward for the re-discipling of our nations but it will require unprecedented humility (Matt 28:18-20).
CAN GOD LISTEN? 2 Chron ch: 7 vs.14
Recently, 14 of Australia’s most senior Church leaders publicly appealed to the PM and Opposition leader to make good on their undertakings to uphold religious freedoms.
This political act is as completely unsurprising as it is hypocritical.
How often and how loudly have our spiritual leaders been speaking up, inside and outside the Church, for the cause of our persecuted brothers and sisters in other nations?
Why should a national Church which has so blatantly sinned against the Lord by failing to pray and advocate for our afflicted brothers and sisters (1 Sam 12:23) expect God to hear appeals for our rights?
Do we secretly believe our long Christian history entitle us to some sort of preferential treatment?
Perhaps in God’s good purposes we need to be oppressed in order to be revived (Hab 3:2)?
Songs sometimes speak of a “near revival”, but is this actually imaginable?
The answer is “Yes”, but not in the mode of power many selfish Christians are seeking.
THE REVIVAL OF CHRIST’S PRESENCE
When Hillsong and Sydney Anglicanism put their resources into the “No” campaign against SSM this signalled that political causes have the power to unite polarised Christian traditions.
But contemporary Pentecostals and Evangelicals have lost touch with the source of real power.
They have drifted far from their roots in great revival movements that transformed the character of Western Christianity.
It is idiocy to imagine that the Lord would send revival through the organised Church whilst it has its own elites and clubs who exercise political power inside the churches in a way that does not look like Christ crucified.
Institutionalised Christianity can never defeat institutionalised evil.
Jesus said to the politically savvy Pilate, “my kingdom is not of this world” and went on to show the true character of the divine rule by death, resurrection and visiting people with the Spirit of uncontrollable repentance, joy and a radical change of lifestyle (John 18:36; Acts 2:37-47).
The mass of comfortable middle class church leaders and their members do not really want to lose control of their life options.
There is a market in peddling worldview programmes as a remedy to the spiritual decline of the West, but Jesus is not a set of mental images you can learn, cultivate and studiously apply.
The power of the presence of the risen Christ cannot be contained in any wine-skin, within or without Christianity.
When we are broken enough to accept this and renounce any hope we have placed in politics perhaps the Lord will visit us with his mercy (Luke 1:78).
IF CHRIST IS NOT LORD OF ALL, HE IS NOT LORD AT ALL
When the ACL recently called on the “standing army” that had formed to oppose gay marriage to prepare for bigger battles ahead they reinforced the feeling amongst many Christians that something must be done to save Australia.
Political engagement however is not the kingdom priority our nation needs if there is to be any remedy for lawlessness in the land.
We need the powerful presence of the Jesus in his compassionate wisdom in all the culture making spheres where “Christianity” has been so soundly defeated (Eph 3:10).
This does include politics, as well as education, the arts and many other dimensions of culture.
A Church compromised by political and other powers will never experience the limitless power of God that can change the world.
We need to return to be seeking the Spirit power which took hold of our lawlessness and defeated at the cross and went on to raise Jesus in perfect righteousness (Rom 8:11; Heb 9:14).
Only by abiding in the life of Christ can there be any transformation of our cultures.
This is happened before, and can happen again, but only if we humbly submit to the final reality about divine power; “If Christ is not Lord of all, he is not Lord at all.” May God turn our hearts to Jesus before any other power.
Goodmorning. I bring you good news and bad news and the bad news is very bad but the good news is very good (sounds like a nursery rhyme from my childhood about a little girl with a curl on her forehead).
I trust that by the end of this morning you will be more alert than ever to our times and the need for prayer and sometimes action, and that you will be in tune with a theme that we have in our early morning weekday prayer time 5 days a week – grief for our nation, mourning for our world and the suffering church, excitement for tomorrow and joy for today.
And if anyone here does not know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, my prayer is that by the end of this morning you will come to that place of commitment.
My serious side is always mixed with fun which sometimes gets me into trouble. I have to be careful in the surgery consulting room to keep my sense of humour in check – but not always. I enjoy camping and it was around a camp fire about 5 yrs ago that I talked about some of the challenges facing us as Christians and threats to our world and one person who had been listening asked me the next morning “how can we prepare?” And so I talked about that the next evening and it became a paper on “A Safe Place for our Children” which you will find on the Choose Life Australia website and we will mention this briefly later.
And so, what are these threats?
There are so many books that we should read. Yeah, I know, people keep telling us don’t they? Elizabeth Kendal is an Australian writer who publishes the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin. Last year she published “After Saturday Comes Sunday” that highlights Islamic aggression “first the Jews, then the Christians”, an Arabic war cry – as sure as Saturday (the day of Jewish worship) is followed by Sunday (the day of Christian worship), first we’ll kill the Jews, then we’ll kill the Christians.
I don’t know whether any of you listen or watch Dr Michael Youssef on Sunday morning – I was amazed to hear him say one time that he grew up in Egypt with this taunt from other children.
We probably all realise the threat of Islamic extremism bathed in the resentment of many centuries. To understand the Middle East and the threat to the “Nations of the Cross” inscribed in blood from the 21 Coptic Christians beheaded on the beach in Libya, you need to read this book. And so, Islam, the first threat.
And we need to add in here the unpredictable threat of North Korea and nuclear holocaust!
The next threat is internal and is from the aggressive atheistic lobby with the leftists onside in wanting to erase anything Christian, re-writing our Christian heritage, stopping children from talking about Jesus in recess, replacing Happy Christmas with happy holiday, and with the militant evolutionists wanting to deny any uncomfortable evidences or logic in Intelligent Design and barring scientists who do accept ID – or, even worse, flood geology or Creation Science – promotions in their university or other fields.
And this of course leads to the threat to our freedom – control of belief and to speak of that which we believe, and beyond that, control of our thoughts and minds – if necessary with correctional re-education classes. This threat is spearheaded by the push for same-sex marriage, the “nice” name for homosexual “marriage”. But even that nice name is now not acceptable. As doctors in the response to the AMA statement supporting “marriage equality” we were accused of using the term same-sex marriage instead of marriage equality with a counter-response saying “which shows what we are up against”. So even using the nice term of same-sex marriage is regarded as hurtful.
But the marriage equality push is, as I said, only the head of the spear to control our freedom – Marxist philosophy in its “long march through the institutions” as Tony Abbott said in an editorial The West Australian just three days ago.
But this in turn is only indicative of the war in heaven and the satanic push to counter God’s creation plan and to wage war on God’s people.
So, how is this war in heaven played out at our level?
By a direct attack on Creation and Creation order. By attacking that mankind is created in the Image of God and then by attacking the creation of male and female – first demonstrated by the attack on sexual behaviour, then the attack on marriage and now – with the transgender issues so much before us – with the attack on masculinity and femininity, what it means for God to have created male and female and make it of no essence.
John Yates puts it so well “the oppositional but complementary nature of heterosexual gender identity is written into the very framework of the order of the universe and the peak of the Creator’s genius. The challenge is far more profound than most Christians realise. This is a claim (for same-sex marriage) that God did not create His Image as male plus female, it is an attack on the very existence and nature of God. The spiritual warfare around this issue is very intense.”
This is direct rebellion against God in an intensity as we have not seen in our lifetime – and against His people, the Bride of Christ, the Church – to silence it, to divide it, and to destroy our freedom to teach our children about our Christian faith. Yes, we’ve been here before with Communism and German fascism but not in our time and not in the “free” West.
It reminds me of that scene in Revelation 12 where Satan declares war against “those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus”.
Yes, the real issue for humanity, for us – and it always has been – is what we do with our God. Terrorism and war may then be what God does with us – or at least permits.
Are we in the Last Days? Who knows but if we are then remember the words of Jesus on the Calvary Road to “lift up your heads for your redemption draws nigh”.
And the other day I was reading Hezekiah’s prayer (2 Kings 19:16) when Jerusalem was surrounded by the army of Sennacharib and Hezekiah responded to Sennacharib’s challenge against God by praying “give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes Lord and see; listen to the words Sennacharib has sent to ridicule the living God. Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God”.
And what is our way forward?
More than anything else it is to engage in prayer as did Hezekiah. Remember as never before that our war is more than just against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
We are quite fortunate here in Australia in that we realise the agenda has become more transparent in moving from same-sex marriage to definitions of male and female and transgenders and gender fluidity with state driven indoctrination with its many broad aspects in our schools and even in our pre-schools. The push to wipe out “hetero-normativity” is so extreme that in some early childhood education programs children are not supposed to ask whether a new-born baby is a boy or a girl.
“Safe Schools Coalition is about supporting gender and sexual diversity… Not about stopping bullying. About gender and sexual diversity. About same-sex attractive. About being transgender. About being lesbian, gay, bisexual – say the words – transgender, intersex”. And her Marxist agenda slipped in a tweet about the rainbow flag flying over the Victorian parliament when she said “Now we just need to get rid of the racist Australian flag on top of the state parliament and get a red one up there and my work is done.”
And so, this plebiscite is more than just giving gays permission to marry and marriage equality. Equality was achieved by the law changes of 2008. There is no inequality. Gays too are free to marry but marriage is for male and female as a complementary biological pair.
Legislation has consequences – changing marriage law is no exception
To include any “two people” as per law changes already suggested also includes different genders i.e. transgender marriage would be legal
Legislative approval of sexual indoctrination of our children to accept such a gender-less society (gender is fluid), to explore their sexual orientation and their gender identity, being encouraged at a young age to declare their sexuality, that there are two virginities (with a chick and a dude), that homosexual behaviour is “normal” and without risk, and to groom for early sex
In giving such legislative approval of a homosexual lifestyle with reinforcement through our schools we are exposing them to all the medical risks of that lifestyle (but we’re not allowed to talk about that like we are able to talk about smoking and alcohol and drugs)
Legislative approval of a new “stolen generation” of children being raised in same-sex/transgender families without the solid foundation of mothers and fathers – particularly biological mothers and fathers
The attacks on freedom of speech and belief – at risk now as has already been demonstrated during this campaign – will be “weaponised” through anti-discrimination laws On freedom to bring up our children with our own values and not be subject to “diversity/sensitivity re-training”. Ultimately, as we have seen overseas, home schooling will have to incorporate such instruction and children will be tested to ensure that they have “learned”.
The push to transgender, to change our sex when we feel like it and to approve of such to our kids is an extraordinary issue that has come out of this revolution and moved with lightning speed. On the one hand in Toronto parents are considered to be abusive unless they agree to their transgender child having medical or surgical therapy to help them transgender, and are threatened with having the child taken away from them. On the other hand we have very prominent paediatricians including our own Dr John Whitelaw considering it abuse if treatment is given.
The elephant in the room is biology (some elementary one-liners)
• The biological design and purpose of male and female sexual anatomy and function is the creation of progeny and the formation of family
• Sexual activity outside of biological parameters is not the same – it is different..
• Sexual activity outside of biological parameters is associated with significantly increased rates of disease.
• Legislative approval of “marriage” outside of these biological parameters is therefore a public health disaster
• State indoctrination of our children through school curriculum’s that endorse and encourage sexual activity outside biological parameters is likewise also a disaster
• Children have a right to know and be brought up by their biological Mothers and Fathers
• None of these can be classified as hate-speech.
What is our responsibility to be? What did Jesus say that is applicable to this battle?
Firstly: Jesus affirmed the creation story. Matt 19:4-6 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.” As we have said, this warfare is an unprecedented rebellion against God and His Creation – we must preach and teach the fundamentals of creation and their application – male and female created He them, the ordinance of marriage and the Imago Dei – to be created in the image of God
Secondly: Jesus explained and affirmed the command (Luke 10:27) to love our neighbour. Loving our neighbour and our neighbour’s children means warning against approaching calamity (e.g. a flash flood) or helping to protect their future from encroaching evil – in this instance against state mandated sexual indoctrination. It is not optional (oh, I don’t get into anything political, I just concentrate on evangelism). “Hate evil and love good, then work it out in the public square” (Amos 5:15 Msg)
Thirdly: Jesus said “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt 18:6). If we, as informed Christians, support SSM and support and vote for politicians whose firm commitment is the sexual indoctrination of our children through legislative mandate, then we too are guilty of allowing our little ones to be led into sin.
“…taking on not just our own sufferings but those of God in the world, watching with Christ in Gethsemane.”
Realise above all that this is a battle in the heavenlies and pray
Realise at the earthly level this is now a political exercise and for the sake of our country and our future
Talk about it. Know how to communicate with different age groups
Vote! And encourage others to vote. (No, of course!)
Do the Zoom program via the CoalitionforMarriage.com.au website
Teach and learn scripture. Learn it and by your example teach your kids and grand-kids to learn it. Teach them as we walk along the road, as they go to bed and as they get up. What they learn now will stand them in good stead as they face these battles in the times to come. This is Deuteronomy 6 of course – the Shema: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
For the same reasons learn and teach songs – the tunes stay in our head and we can sing along to the tune (even in times of trouble like Paul and Silas did in the jail at Philippi).
GOOD NEWS. BAD NEWS.
I don’t think the bad news gets any worse than this. I come back to the saying of our early morning prayer meetings – grief for our nation; mourning for our world and the suffering church; excitement for tomorrow because God is ultimately in charge; and JOY for today. Every day.
Are we in the Last Days?
Who knows but if we are then remember the words of Jesus on the Calvary Road to “lift up your heads for your redemption draws nigh”.
UK’S IMPACTED ZONES
Freedom of religion:
Freedom of speech:
Four years ago, amid much uncertainty, 400 British members of parliament voted to redefine marriage in the United Kingdom.
Then prime minister David Cameron announced that, despite having made no mention of the issue in his party’s pre-election manifesto, it would be MP’s who decided the fate of marriage.
Now, it’s Australia’s turn to choose. There’s one key difference. Unlike in Britain, it will be the people who decide.
Everyone agrees, whether they admit it or not. This is a decision of enormous significance.
Therefore, it seems sensible to analyse the consequences of the potential change, within nations in which redefinition has previously been carried out.
In the United Kingdom, it has become abundantly clear that redefinition has affected many people, across many spheres. At first glance, these spheres appeared distinct from marriage redefinition. However, subsequent changes, have proved that they are entirely intertwined.
Current Conservative Prime Minister, Theresa May, has revealed proposals to abolish the need for any medical consultation before gender reassignment.1)see Article Title: Theresa May: Law must be changed to help trans people change their gender without medical checks. | By: Mayer Nissim | Published: 18th May 2017, 12:52 PM | Article Link: pinknews.co.uk Simply filling out an official form will be sufficient. A ‘Ministry of Equalities’ press release, explicitly announced, that the proposals were designed to: ‘build on the progress’ of same-sex marriage.2)see Article Title: Updated: gov.uk Guardian journalist Roz Kaveney boasted that changing your gender is now: ‘Almost as simple as changing your name by statutory declaration’.3)see Article Title: Theresa May wants to do something positive for trans people – it’s about time Published: Tuesday 25 July 2017 17.00 AEST | Article Link: theguardian.com
Manifestations of the ‘British gender revolution’ are not difficult to find. Transport for London, have prohibited the use of the ‘heteronormative’ words, such as ladies and gentlemen. Meanwhile, universities across the nation are threatening to ‘mark down’ students, who continue to use the words ‘he’ and ‘she’. Instead, ‘gender neutral pronouns’ such as ‘ze’, must be uniformly applied.
Such gender-theory radicalism has delighted Stonewall, the UK’s largest LGBT lobby. Their Orwellian tagline: ‘Acceptance without exception’, can be seen plastered on posters and adverts. Politicians, attempt to ‘out-radical’ one another, in the race to be an original champion, in the next emancipatory front of ‘Trans-rights’.
Such gender-theory radicalism has delighted Stonewall, the UK’s largest LGBT lobby. Their Orwellian tagline: ‘Acceptance without exception’, can be seen plastered on posters and adverts. Politicians, attempt to ‘out-radical’ one another, in the race to be an original champion, in the next emancipatory front of ‘Trans-rights’.
FREEDOM OF RELIGION:
Much was made in the UK, about supposed exemptions, designed to ensure that believers would always be allowed to stay true to their convictions.
Four years later, the very same people who made ‘heartfelt promises’, now work tirelessly to undermine them.
To the churches: ‘Keep up with modern attitudes’
Equalities minister Justine Greening, has insisted that churches must be made to: ‘Keep up with modern attitudes’4)see Article Title: Tory Cabinet minister Justine Greening piles pressure on religious leaders to let gay couples marry in church | By: Ben Glaze | Published: 11:47, 23 JUL 2017 | Article Link: mirror.co.uk.
Likewise, the Speaker of the House of Commons,5)John Bercow a position supposedly defined by its political neutrality, had this to say: I feel we’ll only have proper equal marriage when you can bloody well get married in a church if you want to do so, without having to fight the church for the equality that should be your right’.
UK GENERAL ELECTION 2017.
It became clear, during this year’s general election, just how militant the LGBT lobby have become, following marriage redefinition.
A POLITICIAN & A CHRISTIAN
The primary target was Tim Farron, leader of England’s third largest political party, the Liberal Democrats. High-profile journalists had heard that Farron was a practising Christian.
It”s “impossible” to be a committed Christian and lead the party.
In every single interview thereafter, they demanded to know.
Did he personally believe homosexual sex to be a sin?
He practically begged the commentariat, to allow him to keep his personal faith and legislative convictions separate. For decades, he pointed out, he had out vocally and legislatively supported the LGBT Lobby. Likewise, he had long backed same-sex marriage, voting for it enthusiastically.
This simply was no longer enough.
Shortly after the election campaign, Farron resigned.
He stated that it was now impossible, for a believing Christian to hold a prominent position in British politics.6)see Article Title: Tim Farron’s Resignation and the End of Liberal Christianity | By: Michael Brendan Dougherty | Published: June 15, 2017 4:00 AM | Article Link: nationalreview.com – Also see Article Title: Tim Farron quits as Liberal Democrat leader over Christian faith By: Alan McGuinness | Published: Thursday 15 June 2017 Article Link: news.sky.com
ASPIRING FOSTER PARENTS
In a heartbreaking development and in spite of Britain’s ‘foster crisis’, aspiring foster parents who identify as religious, face interrogation. Those who are deemed unlikely to ‘celebrate’ homosexuality, have had their dreams of parenthood scuppered. Britain’s High Court, ruled that a Pentecostal couple were ineligible parents.7)see Article Title: High Court upholds bar on Christian foster carers over homosexuality views. | By: ChristianToday AU | Published: Article Link: christiantoday.com.au While the court recognised their successful and loving record of adoption, they decreed that above all else: ‘The equality provisions concerning sexual orientation should take precedence’.
How has Great Britain become so twisted?
Practicing Jews, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs, who want to stay true to their religious teachings, can no longer adopt children.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH:
MEMBERS of PARLIAMENT BULLIED
In the lead-up to the Parliamentary vote, we witnessed almost incomprehensible bullying. David Burrows MP, a mild-mannered supporter of the ‘Coalition for Marriage’, had excrement thrown at his house. His children received death threats and their school address was published online.8)see Article Title: Tory MP gets ‘death threats’ over gay marriage opposition | By Rowena Mason | Published: 03 Feb 2013 | Article Link: telegraph.co.uk Similarly, ‘Conservative’ broadcaster Iain Dale promised to, ‘publicly out’ gay MP’s, who did not vote for redefinition.9)see Article Title: ‘Secretly gay MPs are planning to vote against same-sex weddings… and two of them are married’: Extraordinary claim from top Conservative pundit. | By: Tim Shipman and Matt Chorley | Published: 4 February 2013 | Article Link: dailymail.co.uk
Many hardworking Brits have lost their jobs.
HOUSING MANAGER, MAGISTRATE, FAMILY BAKERY
Consider Adrian Smith, sacked by a Manchester Housing Trust,10)see Article Title: Demoted for not backing gay marriage: housing manager’s pay slashed for criticising new law on Facebook. | By: Jonathan Petre for The Mail on Sunday. | Published: 23 October 2011 | Article Link: dailymail.co.uk for suggesting that the state: ‘shouldn’t impose its rules on places of faith and conscience’. Or Richard Page (magistrate),11)Date-stamped: 11 March 2016 – Time-stamped: 02:05 +11:00 – By: Amanda Williams for Mailonline – Article Title: Christian magistrate is sacked after claiming adopted children were better off with a man and a woman as parents than with a gay couple. – Article Link: dailymail.co.ukfired for gross misconduct after articulating, that children might enjoy better outcomes, were they to be adopted by heterosexual couples.
Simultaneously, contrary to ‘steadfast’ government assurances, small businesses have been consistently targeted. Courts in Northern Ireland ruled that the Asher’s Family bakery had acted unlawfully.12)Date-stamped: 24 October 2016 – Time-stamped: Monday 21.55 AEDT – By: Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent – Article Title: ‘Gay cake’ row: born-again Christian bakers lose court appeal – Article Link: theguardian.com
What crime committed by this tiny business? Politely declining to decorate a cake with a political message in support of same-sex marriage. The courts maintained that business owners must be compelled to promote the LGBT cause, irrespective of personal convictions.
Even the National Trust, a British institution with over 4.2 million members, has decided to join the bullying LGBT crusade. A message went out. Each of the Trust’s 62,000 volunteers, would be required to wear a compulsory same-sex rainbow badge.13)Date-stamped: 4th August 2017 – Time-stamped: 11:00 pm – By: Carri-Ann Taylor and Ellie Cambridge – Article Title: NATIONAL TRUST REVOLT National Trust volunteers quit after being ordered to wear rainbow gay pride badges at work – Article Link: thesun.co.uk
Those who said they’d rather not were told they would be ‘moved out of sight’until they were prepared to publicly demonstrate inclusive tolerance.
In retrospect, the silent majority in Britain remained silent for too long. Reflecting on redefinition, Ben Harris-Quinney, Chairman of the Bow Group think tank pondered that:‘Same-sex marriage was promoted in the UK, as an issue of supposed tolerance and equality. What we have seen, is the most unequal and intolerant outcomes of any political issue in recent history’.
Across the UK, ‘sex education’ has been transformed and disfigured. TV programmes, aimed at children as young as three, promote ‘gender fluidity’, as an enabler of thoughtfulness and individuality.
At the same time, Ministers have denied worried parents the right to withdraw their children from primary school classes. Meanwhile, ‘outside educators’ teach children about sex positions, ‘satisfying’ pornography consumption and how to masturbate. Concerns regarding STI’s and Promiscuity, are derided as ‘old-fashioned’.
Independent religious schools are under intense scrutiny. Dame Louise Casey, a senior government advisor, recently insisted that it is now: ‘Not Ok for Catholic schools to be homophobic and anti-gay marriage’.14)Date-stamped: 11 Jan 2017 – Time-stamped: Wednesday – By: Madeleine Teahan – Article Title: Government integration advisor: ‘Catholic schools cannot oppose gay marriage’ – Article Link: catholicherald.co.uk
Ofsted, the body responsible for school-assessment, has been wildly politicised. In 2013, Prior to the redefinition of marriage, Ofsted visited Vishnitz Jewish Girls School. They passed the school with flying colours. In fact, they went out of their way to highlight the committed and attentive approach to student welfare and development. Four years later, Ofsted returned. This time, they failed the school on one issue alone. While again, noting that students were ‘confident in thinking for themselves‘, their report, pointed to the inadequate promotion of homosexuality and gender reassignment.15)Date-stamped: 26 June 2017 – Time-stamped: 15:44 BST – By: Rachael Pells – Article Title: Private Jewish school fails third Ofsted inspection for not teaching LGBT issues – Article Link: independent.co.uk
As such, it was failing to ensure: ‘a full understanding of fundamental British values’. It is one of an initial seven faith schools that face closure.
I mentioned that I was writing this article to a good friend in the Conservative Party, back at home. He expressed his genuine concern. Had I not considered the consequences? Did I not realise that what I said in Australia could be found when I returned to the UK? ‘LGBT progress is an unstoppable tide’. He assured me, that it was OK for me to ‘privately’ believe that marriage was between one man and one woman. He even privately agreed, that the stuff being taught in primary schools was too much.
But to say it out loud? To actually have it in print? It would blight my career and my personal relationships.
Good God. How much more important the institution of marriage and freedom of thought, religion and speech. How much more important the future of our children, than any naïve career ambitions I might harbour.
I urge every Aussie to examine the evidence, analysis the results and be clear about what you’re voting for.
If it was solely marriage, it would worth preserving.
see Article Title: Theresa May: Law must be changed to help trans people change their gender without medical checks. | By: Mayer Nissim | Published: 18th May 2017, 12:52 PM | Article Link: pinknews.co.uk
see Article Title: Theresa May wants to do something positive for trans people – it’s about time Published: Tuesday 25 July 2017 17.00 AEST | Article Link: theguardian.com
see Article Title: Tory Cabinet minister Justine Greening piles pressure on religious leaders to let gay couples marry in church | By: Ben Glaze | Published: 11:47, 23 JUL 2017 | Article Link: mirror.co.uk
see Article Title: Tim Farron’s Resignation and the End of Liberal Christianity | By: Michael Brendan Dougherty | Published: June 15, 2017 4:00 AM | Article Link: nationalreview.com – Also see Article Title: Tim Farron quits as Liberal Democrat leader over Christian faith By: Alan McGuinness | Published: Thursday 15 June 2017 Article Link: news.sky.com
see Article Title: High Court upholds bar on Christian foster carers over homosexuality views. | By: ChristianToday AU | Published: Article Link: christiantoday.com.au
see Article Title: Tory MP gets ‘death threats’ over gay marriage opposition | By Rowena Mason | Published: 03 Feb 2013 | Article Link: telegraph.co.uk
see Article Title: ‘Secretly gay MPs are planning to vote against same-sex weddings… and two of them are married’: Extraordinary claim from top Conservative pundit. | By: Tim Shipman and Matt Chorley | Published: 4 February 2013 | Article Link: dailymail.co.uk
see Article Title: Demoted for not backing gay marriage: housing manager’s pay slashed for criticising new law on Facebook. | By: Jonathan Petre for The Mail on Sunday. | Published: 23 October 2011 | Article Link: dailymail.co.uk
Date-stamped: 11 March 2016 – Time-stamped: 02:05 +11:00 – By: Amanda Williams for Mailonline – Article Title: Christian magistrate is sacked after claiming adopted children were better off with a man and a woman as parents than with a gay couple. – Article Link: dailymail.co.uk
Date-stamped: 4th August 2017 – Time-stamped: 11:00 pm – By: Carri-Ann Taylor and Ellie Cambridge – Article Title: NATIONAL TRUST REVOLT National Trust volunteers quit after being ordered to wear rainbow gay pride badges at work – Article Link: thesun.co.uk
Former Wimbledon champion Margaret Court has again weighed in on the same-sex marriage debate as Australia prepares for a non-binding postal vote on the issue.
Her controversial comments earlier this year sparked both outrage and support from different sides of the argument.
In the video above, hear from Mrs Court as she talks about gay rights, lesbians in tennis and religion.
The controversy began with a letter Mrs Court wrote to the The West Australian letters to the editor section. With the announcement this week of the postal vote on the gay marriage issue, Mrs Court has again written to the newspaper.
This is her letter:1)Friday, 11 August 2017 9:13 AM see Article Link: thewest.com.au Article Title: Margaret Court says people migrated to Australia because of its moral values – don’t change them for gay marriage
It is disappointing Australia has to go to any vote on same-sex marriage. We have, ever since foundation, been a proud nation, a nation which people migrated to — to the extent that it eventually had to be restricted.
Australia’s moral values are the envy of the world; nobody wants to leave and there are plenty in the queue wanting to get in. If we have to vote, let us vote no to gay marriage for the sake of Australia, our children and our children’s children.
The idea that one’s sex is a feeling, not a fact, has permeated our culture and is leaving casualties in its wake. Gender dysphoria should be treated with psychotherapy, not surgery.
For forty years as the University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School—twenty-six of which were also spent as Psychiatrist in Chief of Johns Hopkins Hospital—I’ve been studying people who claim to be transgender. Over that time, I’ve watched the phenomenon change and expand in remarkable ways.
A rare issue of a few men—both homosexual and heterosexual men, including some who sought sex-change surgery because they were erotically aroused by the thought or image of themselves as women—has spread to include women as well as men. Even young boys and girls have begun to present themselves as of the opposite sex. Over the last ten or fifteen years, this phenomenon has increased in prevalence, seemingly exponentially. Now, almost everyone has heard of or met such a person.
Publicity, especially from early examples such as “Christine” Jorgenson, “Jan” Morris, and “Renee” Richards, has promoted the idea that one’s biological sex is a choice, leading to widespread cultural acceptance of the concept. And, that idea, quickly accepted in the 1980s, has since run through the American public like a revelation or “meme” affecting much of our thought about sex.
The champions of this meme, encouraged by their alliance with the broader LGBT movement, claim that whether you are a man or a woman, a boy or a girl, is more of a disposition or feeling about yourself than a fact of nature. And, much like any other feeling, it can change at any time, and for all sorts of reasons. Therefore, no one could predict who would swap this fact of their makeup, nor could one justifiably criticize such a decision.
At Johns Hopkins, after pioneering sex-change surgery, we demonstrated that the practice brought no important benefits. As a result, we stopped offering that form of treatment in the 1970s. Our efforts, though, had little influence on the emergence of this new idea about sex, or upon the expansion of the number of “transgendered” among young and old.
Olympic Athlete Turned “Pin-Up” Girl
This history may clarify some aspects of the latest high-profile transgender claimant. Bruce Jenner, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion, is turning away from his titular identity as one of the “world’s greatest male athletes.” Jenner announced recently that he “identifies as a woman” and, with medical and surgical help, is busy reconstructing his physique.
I have not met or examined Jenner, but his behavior resembles that of some of the transgender males we have studied over the years. These men wanted to display themselves in sexy ways, wearing provocative female garb. More often than not, while claiming to be a woman in a man’s body, they declared themselves to be “lesbians” (attracted to other women). The photograph of the posed, corseted, breast-boosted Bruce Jenner (a man in his mid-sixties, but flaunting himself as if a “pin-up” girl in her twenties or thirties) on the cover ofVanity Fair suggests that he may fit the behavioral mold that Ray Blanchard has dubbed an expression of “autogynephilia”—from gynephilia (attracted to women) and auto (in the form of oneself).
The Emperor’s New Clothes
But the meme—that your sex is a feeling, not a biological fact, and can change at any time—marches on through our society. In a way, it’s reminiscent of the Hans Christian Andersen tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes. In that tale, the Emperor, believing that he wore an outfit of special beauty imperceptible to the rude or uncultured, paraded naked through his town to the huzzahs of courtiers and citizens anxious about their reputations. Many onlookers to the contemporary transgender parade, knowing that a disfavored opinion is worse than bad taste today, similarly fear to identify it as a misapprehension.
I am ever trying to be the boy among the bystanders who points to what’s real. I do so not only because truth matters, but also because overlooked amid the hoopla—enhanced now by Bruce Jenner’s celebrity and Annie Leibovitz’s photography—stand many victims. Think, for example, of the parents whom no one—not doctors, schools, nor even churches—will help to rescue their children from these strange notions of being transgendered and the problematic lives these notions herald. These youngsters now far outnumber the Bruce Jenner type of transgender. Although they may be encouraged by his public reception, these children generally come to their ideas about their sex not through erotic interests but through a variety of youthful psychosocial conflicts and concerns.
First, though, let us address the basic assumption of the contemporary parade: the idea that exchange of one’s sex is possible. It, like the storied Emperor, is starkly, nakedly false. Transgendered men do not become women, nor do transgendered women become men. All (including Bruce Jenner) become feminized men or masculinized women, counterfeits or impersonators of the sex with which they “identify.” In that lies their problematic future.
When “the tumult and shouting dies,” it proves not easy nor wise to live in a counterfeit sexual garb. The most thorough follow-up of sex-reassigned people—extending over thirty years and conducted in Sweden, where the culture is strongly supportive of the transgendered—documents their lifelong mental unrest. Ten to fifteen years after surgical reassignment, the suicide rate of those who had undergone sex-reassignment surgery rose to twenty times that of comparable peers.
How to Treat Gender Dysphoria
So how should we make sense of this matter today? As with any mental phenomenon, what’s crucial is noting its fundamental characteristic and then identifying the many ways in which that characteristic can manifest itself.
The central issue with all transgender subjects is one of assumption—the assumption that one’s sexual nature is misaligned with one’s biological sex. This problematic assumption comes about in several different ways, and these distinctions in its generation determine how to manage and treat it.
Based on the photographic evidence one might guess Bruce Jenner falls into the group of men who come to their disordered assumption through being sexually aroused by the image of themselves as women. He could have been treated for this misaligned arousal with psychotherapy and medication. Instead, he found his way to surgeons who worked him over as he wished. Others have already commented on his stereotypic caricature of women as decorative “babes” (“I look forward to wearing nail polish until it chips off,” he said to Diane Sawyer)—a view that understandably infuriates feminists—and his odd sense that only feelings, not facts, matter here.
For his sake, however, I do hope that he receives regular, attentive follow-up care, as his psychological serenity in the future is doubtful. Future men with similar feelings and intentions should be treated for those feelings rather than being encouraged to undergo bodily changes. Group therapies are now available for them.
Most young boys and girls who come seeking sex-reassignment are utterly different from Jenner. They have no erotic interest driving their quest. Rather, they come with psychosocial issues—conflicts over the prospects, expectations, and roles that they sense are attached to their given sex—and presume that sex-reassignment will ease or resolve them.
The grim fact is that most of these youngsters do not find therapists willing to assess and guide them in ways that permit them to work out their conflicts and correct their assumptions. Rather, they and their families find only “gender counselors” who encourage them in their sexual misassumptions.
Those with Gender Dysphoria Need Evidence-Based Care
There are several reasons for this absence of coherence in our mental health system. Important among them is the fact that both the state and federal governments are actively seeking to block any treatments that can be construed as challenging the assumptions and choices of transgendered youngsters. “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors,” said Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Obama.
In two states, a doctor who would look into the psychological history of a transgendered boy or girl in search of a resolvable conflict could lose his or her license to practice medicine. By contrast, such a physician would not be penalized if he or she started such a patient on hormones that would block puberty and might stunt growth.
What is needed now is public clamor for coherent science—biological and therapeutic science—examining the real effects of these efforts to “support” transgendering. Although much is made of a rare “intersex” individual, no evidence supports the claim that people such as Bruce Jenner have a biological source for their transgender assumptions. Plenty of evidence demonstrates that with him and most others, transgendering is a psychological rather than a biological matter.
In fact, gender dysphoria—the official psychiatric term for feeling oneself to be of the opposite sex—belongs in the family of similarly disordered assumptions about the body, such as anorexia nervosa and body dysmorphic disorder. Its treatment should not be directed at the body as with surgery and hormones any more than one treats obesity-fearing anorexic patients with liposuction. The treatment should strive to correct the false, problematic nature of the assumption and to resolve the psychosocial conflicts provoking it. With youngsters, this is best done in family therapy.
The larger issue is the meme itself. The idea that one’s sex is fluid and a matter open to choice runs unquestioned through our culture and is reflected everywhere in the media, the theater, the classroom, and in many medical clinics. It has taken on cult-like features: its own special lingo, internet chat rooms providing slick answers to new recruits, and clubs for easy access to dresses and styles supporting the sex change. It is doing much damage to families, adolescents, and children and should be confronted as an opinion without biological foundation wherever it emerges.
But gird your loins if you would confront this matter. Hell hath no fury like a vested interest masquerading as a moral principle.